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Monoclonal antibodies are in high demand for COVID treatment in USA

Monoclonal antibodies are in high demand for COVID treatment in USA

Washington: Monoclonal antibodies are in such great demand for Covid treatment in the US, especially among individuals who reject the infectious disease vaccine, prompting the Joe Biden administration to put new restrictions on prescription orders, according to reports in the media.

According to CBS News, since mid-July, the demand for monoclonal antibody treatment — lab-made antibodies given to a patient to help their immune system stop the spread of infection — has increased 20-fold

Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana made up 70 per cent of orders for monoclonal antibodies in recent weeks, according to the spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Of these states, only Florida has fully vaccinated more than half of its total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The others rank in the bottom 10 states for vaccinations nationwide.

All seven rank among the top half of states with the highest rates of daily Covid-19 hospitalisations in recent weeks, the report said.

"Given this reality, we must work to ensure our supply of these life-saving therapies remains available for all states and territories, not just some," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

According to CNET, President Biden stated last week that his administration will double the number of free weekly shipments of monoclonal antibodies in September.

A "monoclonal antibody strike team" is also being launched by the administration in order to help medical professionals and hospital staff who administer the medication.

The report said that the HHS Department will amend rules that allow more providers, including pharmacists, to administer the treatment. It will also allocate the drugs to state health departments, "based on Covid-19 case burden" and demand for the treatment with Regeneron's REGEN-COV and Eli Lilly's combination bamlanavimab and etesevimab.

According to some preliminary research, the treatment -- Regeneron's REGEN-COV and Eli Lilly's combination bamlanavimab and etesevimab -- reduces the risk for hospitalisation or death by about 70 per cent.

Earlier in August, Anthony Fauci, the President's chief medical adviser, had said that monoclonal antibodies are "underutilised" and that the drug can reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid-19 by 70 to 85 per cent.

However, the drugs are not to be used as a "substitute for vaccination". Also, there has been a lack of awareness and access to monoclonal antibody therapy.

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TAGS:Monoclonal antibodies COVID treatment USA 
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